Brighton and Wolves clash in the New Year with both desperate for points
Wolves to win 1-0
Wolves can consider themselves a little unfortunate to have lost their last match of 2020 against Manchester United, going down 1-0 to a 93rd minute winner.
They defended well in that match and, without having too many attempts of their own, restricted Manchester United to only half chances up until that point. It was a desperately disappointing blow that sees the West Midlands side searching for their first win in four.
They will be hoping to start off 2021 in a better fashion than the way in which they finished the last year.
As for Brighton, they’ve suffered through a disappointing season so far, certainly results-wise, and sit just two points above the bottom three teams. The number of draws they have had have helped pick up points regularly, but not to the degree which they would have liked.
This should be a close match.
Form Guide (all comps): LDDDL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Only Newcastle have lost fewer games in the bottom half
Have only lost two of the 13 matches against Wolves
Reasons to be fearful:
Lack of victories is beginning to cost them in the league
Only the bottom two have won fewer matches
After looking relatively comfortable for much of the season so far, Brighton must now be looking hard over their shoulder at the three teams in the relegation zone.
With just two points separate the Seagulls and Fulham (who now have a game in hand), Brighton could very quickly be tasting life nearer the bottom than they would have hoped a month or two ago.
Their performance levels remain positive, with their work rate high and remain difficult to beat, with three draws from their last five matches.
Having said that, goals are just not coming for Brighton, at least in the numbers they need to pull away from danger. Right-back Tariq Lamptey, often so dangerous from putting deliveries into the box, has missed more games than not this season, while Danny Welbeck and Neal Maupay often blow hot and cold.
Star Man – Yves Bissouma
In what is likely to be a battling performance against Wolves, the Brighton midfielder can help them get on the ball in the middle of the pitch.
Form Guide (all comps): LWLDL
Reasons to be cheerful
Deserved a point against Man United
Only Arsenal have a better goal difference in the bottom half
Reasons to be fearful
Will continue to struggle for goals without a senior striker
Similar to Brighton, are not getting the results their performances deserve
Wolves’ players were visibly upset at the final whistle against Manchester United. They had given everything to keep the Red Devils out, succeeding until almost the last minute of the match when United scored.
It was an awful blow for Wolves to take, but one that leaves them firmly in the bottom half of the table with just one win from six.
In truth, their poor results have been a result of their lack of goals, rather than any defensive weaknesses. Their 15 goals scored is lower than their opponents, with only four teams in the league scoring fewer all season.
Without Jimenez, who continues to sit out after a serious head injury, and in the absence of another senior striker, Wolves are likely to continue to struggle to put the ball in the back of the net.
Star Man – Pedro Neto
The 20-year-old was the closest to creating a goal against United. Despite his youth, he’s getting plenty of game time.
Wolves slight favourites based on league position
Will be a tight game of few chances
A moment of quality could settle it
Matches between teams who struggle to score goals often end up as a draw.
That could well be the case between these two sides, for whom a point helps a little but not a lot.
Wolves have the better players, but can they pick themselves up after the United defeat? A moment of quality could settle it for them.
Wolves to win 1-0